Blog entry June 4 th day 1
(photos at end of post)
After a sleepless journey, we finally arrived in ISRAEL!!! Girls were all very excited, and besides one misplaced piece of luggage, we moved easily onto the bus that JWRP had waiting for us, and we began our journey up North. Spirits flying high…. Where were we going?
And we listened in awe as Patrick Amar explained the vast and very different landscapes, of this diverse incredible country. Some of us caught up on some lost sleep, and we arrived in the beautiful Tiberius, a few hours before sunset.
The view of the kinneret from our balconies, was breathtaking. I sipped my mug of instant elite coffee, sprinkled with powdered creamer, while I smiled and looked out on the sparkling water mass nestled in a valley of rolling hills. Palm trees scattered the hills, turned golden from the unrelenting sun beating down on them for millennia. A wave of gratitude began to flood over me.
We plastered on a bit of lipstick, freshened up and made our way to the auditorium, to meet our host and mastermind behind JWRP, Lori Palatnik.
Her energy and enthusiasm was electric, and we immediately became excited at the prospect of all that we would learn in the next few days. A quick pep talk on the futility of gossip and negative speech, and we headed to bus,inspired. We headed off for Decks, an amazing restaurant located in the shores of the kinneret.
We arrived and walked onto the deck converted into a large restaurant. Goosebumps bristled our skin as we made our way to our table. One could almost feel the pink hue of the setting sun, as it began to sink behind the mountains.
To say that we were starving , was an understatement! The massive platters of fresh salads, chummus, tehin, falafel balls were eaten up hungrily, and it was delicious. The yummiest French fries followed sprinkled with fresh parsley, and fried onions. Next , the freshest, most succulent salmon grilled with just the right amount of herbs and spices, served with grilled vegetables. We ate heartily, and all our senses were now satisfied.
The sun had set now, and whether coincidence or carefully planned, the most beautiful full moon rose above the mountainous skyline, and took its place in the night sky, where the dazzling sun stood, a few hours earlier.
Suddenly the lights were extinguished, and a very accented Woman’s voice wafted over the loudspeaker. She began to thank us all from the heart, for making our way to Eretz Yisrael, to learn about all that Israel has to offer, and return to our families and give over all that we learned here. As tears sprung to our eyes, we saw a beautiful white ferry approaching, with two red flares on either side. It was almost as if the boat bowed its stern at us, in honor and gratitude. We were so touched, by this display.
And … Then… In case we were not emotional enough the song Halleiluyah began to play through the loudspeaker. Wherever we stood, we threw our arms around ech other’s shoulders and swayed and danced, as the tears flowed freely. We got it. We were home, loved and we belonged.
So many generations had come before us, and here WE stood, 170 women from all over the world, united in emotion, and united in spirit. None of us took this privilege for granted. And as Lori had said earlier, we’re were truly blessed to have been chosen to be here, at this moment in time.
Exhaustion suddenly checked out, and as the music played, we danced in absolute jubilation. Our joy was palpable, and we suddenly became bonded to each other. We all knew that this was the first day, of 10 to come. 10 days that will be incredible, and life changing.
Finally, the music stopped, dessert was served, and we went back to the hotel.
Day 1 was done, and so were we….